Bring cash in and out of the UK

You must declare to the Customs Authorities if you bring cash in and out of the UK of more than £10,000. It does not matter if your cash is for personal use or for business use. For example, you are traveling to London Heathrow Airport from Singapore Changi Airport and you are bringing £8000 traveler’s cheque and Pound Sterling Currency notes of £3000 in cash and some Singapore dollars of $2000.

Declare your cash to Customs online

You must declare the total cash you bring into the UK up to 72 hours before you cross the UK borders. You can do it online via GOV.UK website. In brief, your declaration is to tell Her Majesty Revenue and Customs (HMRC) about who owns the cash is, where it has come from and what it will be used for.

The information about the person who travels with the cash in and out of the UK

You would require the following information about yourself to complete the declaration.

  • Passport number
  • Full name
  • Nationality
  • Place of birth
  • Country of birth
  • Occupation
  • Date of birth

The currencies you bring in and out of the UK

Let’s say you are entering the UK from Singapore, transit at Hong Kong and you bring £8000 in a cheque, £3000 in cash, and SGD $2000 in cash.

You must declare in your online declaration form each currency type you are bringing into the UK.

Currency type Pound Sterling (GBP £) Singapore Dollar (SGD $)
Value in Notes and coins £3000$2000
Value in Cheques & Traveller’s cheques£8000$0
Value in Bankers’ drafts£0$0
Total value£11,000$2000

Your flight journey

You must specify whether you are entering or leaving the UK with the cash. this includes how you are going to travel in the UK whether by air, sea, or channel tunnel.

In addition, you must also provide your flight information. In this example, the airport you will start your journey would be Singapore Changi Airport and your destination airport would be London Heathrow Airport.

If your flight journey includes transit at another airport in another country between Singapore and London, you must disclose that information also. For example, your flight from Singapore will stopover at Hong Kong International Airport before heading to London Heathrow.

If you cannot remember the airport’s names, do not worry the Gov.UK online form already have airports’ names and countries listed in their database, when you type the closely match airports and countries will appear for you to select.

Your cash origins

Correspondingly, you must let HMRC knows which country your cash was generated in. For example, the cash you bring into the UK is the sales receipts from your Singapore company then you specified your cash is generated in Singapore.

The next question HMRC would ask you is that do you own the cash? If you personally own the cash then declare that fact by choosing “yes”.

If you do not owns the cash then you must disclose who owns the cash. a family member or a friend or a business. Say your cash is owned by a UK company. You must provide the UK company name, industry, and address in the UK. If you cannot remember the UK company’s information, contact Companies House.

Subsequently, you must disclose if you are intending to give your cash to someone else or you are paying for goods or services. Say if you paying for your UK accountant to set up your UK company, filing your confirmation statement and company accounts to the UK authorities. This is considered paying for services.

However, if you are intending to give your cash to someone else then you must provide information about the recipient whether a business or an individual.

A businessAn Individual
Company nameFull name
Industry the company operates inOccupation
Address (UK or overseas)Address (UK or overseas)

Thereafter, you must declare what business purpose the cash will be used for? For instance, to buy commercial vehicles or parts, pay wages, business expenses, or other business costs.

Finally, you will be asked to provide your email address where HMRC will send a confirmation including your submission reference number that they have received your application. You would need to save this information.

Bike repair voucher

The UK government launched the bike repair voucher scheme called “Fix your bike voucher scheme” as part of their effort to encourage people to cycle rather than use private cars for short journeys. Cycling not only keeps you fit but also reduce air pollution compared to driving a car.

If you have an unused bike that requires repair you can get the bike repair voucher to pay for your bike repair. The voucher is worth £50. You can use the voucher to pay for your bike repair costs. The Fix your bike voucher scheme is for anyone living in England.

Types of bike repairs

The voucher covers the following repairs costs:

Inspection, adjustment, lubrication, tyre inflation.
Or adjustment, repair, replacement of:

  • tyres, tubes, wheels and related components;
  • braking system components;
  • transmission system components;
  • any other essential components which prevent safe use of the bike e.g. deteriorated grips or saddle, failed bottom bracket, failed headset bearings;
  • components for permanently fitted dynamo-powered lighting systems.

However, you are not allowed to use the voucher for the following:

  • replacement or upgrade of existing safe and roadworthy components;
  • replacement or repair of removable or battery-powered lighting systems;
  • provision of any additional parts or accessories, whether attached to the bike or for the rider’s use;
  • replacement of any part or component, even if the replacement is necessary and otherwise eligible, by a component of disproportionate value where a component of quality and value more closely matching the original is reasonably available. In other words, it is not permitted for new parts to represent very significant upgrading not essential for roadworthiness.

When registering to get the Fix your bike voucher, you must provide your details about your bike. This includes the type of bike you have. for example, a commuter bike or town bike or racing bike or folding bike or electric bike or adaptive bike etc.

You must also specify the brand of your bike. For example, it is a Cannondale or Specialized etc and the main colour of your bike.

Registered bike repairs shop or mechanics

Only use the bike repair voucher with the bike repairs shops or bike mechanics registered with the Fix your bike voucher scheme. You can find the registered bike repairs shops and mechanics here.

Note down your bike repair voucher code, you will need this when you take your bike to the shop for repairs.

Also, bring documents for proof of your identity and your address. For example, your passport or driving licence for proof of identity. Utility bills such as water or electricity or council tax bill for proof of address.

Companies House filings

If you run your business using a limited company, remember to deliver your company accounts and confirmation statement to Companies House on time to avoid a late filing penalty.

If you require any help with your company filings, feel free to contact our accountants, they will be more than happy to assist you.

Budget 2021

The UK government announced at the Budget 2021 the following subject matters and will legislate them in Finance Bill 2021.

Corporation tax

The corporation tax rate remains at 19% from 1 April 2022 and the rate will increase to 25% from 1 April 2023.

Coronavirus Job Support Scheme

The Coronavirus Job support Scheme is extended to 30 September 2021 across the UK.

Self Employment Income Support Scheme

The self-employment income support scheme is extended to 30 September 2021. People who have filed their self-assessment return in 2019/2020 may be able to claim for the first time.

One-off cash grants of £18,000

A new restart grants for hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym businesses in England. If your business falls into these sectors you may entitle to the one-off cash grants of £18,000.

VAT cut for some businesses

VAT to 5% for hospitality, accommodation and attractions is extended to 30 September 2021 thereafter the rate will increase to 12.5% till 31 March 2022.

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

If your business have paid staff for self isolating or sick during this pandemic, you can claim the statutory sick pay up to two weeks from the UK government.

Property tax – stamp duty

The stamp duty land tax temporary relief is extended to 30 June 2021. First-time buyers continue to enjoy the tax-free amount of up to £500,000 on a property purchase cost.

The Budget 2021 have been very helpful to help UK businesses to bounce back from this pandemic.

Buy a company van

There are ways to finance your purchase when you want to buy a company van for your business use but do not want to buy it outright. You can buy your company van through hire purchase or finance lease. Usually, these types of finance are offered by finance houses like the banks.

Financing options

Hire PurchaseFinance Lease
You would require to pay a deposit or down payment for your van. say 10% to the van dealer.No deposit required.
The balance of the 90% cost will be financed through hire purchase.The purchase cost is leased.
You would pay monthly instalments (plus interest on the HP amount) to the bank.You pay monthly lease payments to the bank.
The bank owns the company van during the hire purchase period.The bank owns the van but you have the right to use the van throughout the leasing period.
You own the van at the end of the HP period.You have an option to buy the van at the end of the lease period.

Assess your business’s ability to pay for your company van’s monthly payments

Before the bank could offer you hire purchase or lease financing, they would assess your business’s ability to repay. For this purpose, they will usually look at your gearing ratio and interest cover ratio.

What is the gearing ratio?

Gearing is the proportion of your business’s debts in relation to your capital in your business. Generally, the bank would be delighted to see a gearing of no more than 50%. The bank would assess your company accounts in order to calculate your gearing ratio. Your balance sheet page would reveal these figures.

Gearing ratio = Long term + short term debts + bank overdraft divide by shareholder’s equity x 100%

Gearing ratio formula

Let look at the Successful Business Limited year 2021 Balance Sheet, the long term loan is £10,000 and short term loan included in the creditor’s figure, say is £50,000 and the shareholders’ equity is £6,403,702. The Gearing ratio is £60,000/£6,403,702 x 100% = 0.93%. The company would have no problem getting a Hire purchase or leasing finance.

What is the interest cover ratio?

Interest cover ratio is used to assess your business’s ability to pay your interest obligations on your debts. Generally, the higher the number the stronger your company to be. For this, the bank would be delighted to see an interest cover ratio of 2:1 and above.

Correspondingly, your bank would assess your profit and loss account to calculate your interest cover.

Interest cover = Profit before tax and interest divide by interest expense

Interest cover formula

Let take the Successful Business Limited profit and loss account’s figures as an example.

The profit before tax and interest is £3,789,222 and interest expense is £19,320. Therefore, the interest cover ratio is £3,789,222/£19,320 = 196:1.

Your company status with Companies House

The bank would also check your company’s status with Companies House. Generally, if you file your confirmation statement and company accounts promptly, your company will remain in good standing and have an “active” status.

However, if Companies House has changed your company status to “proposal to strike off”, this would be due to your confirmation statement or your company accounts are overdue. File the overdue documents as soon as possible.

If your company has been dissolved for the non-filings then you would have to restore your company before you can apply for Hire purchase or leasing finance.

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